Maew, a field worker in North East Thailand taking records on a child in the milk programme set up Kilkenny nun, the late Sr Mary Hayden
On Saturday, Sharing Fair will hold its annual Crafts Sale and Coffee Morning in Langtons of John Street from 10am to 1.30pm. The crafts come from small projects set up in Thailand by Kilkenny nun Sr Mary Hayden to help poor people work their way out of poverty.
Kilkenny people who have come to Sharing Fair events in the past will be familiar with the beautiful quality and range of items available. Those who make the crafts depend entirely on volunteers to sell their products. This means there are no administration costs and all the money from sales go back directly to the workers.
Sr Mary who was from Inistioge, died in Nong Khai, north-east of Thailand on July 30 this year, seven weeks before her 98th birthday. She lived an extraordinary life as a missionary in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Macau and finally Thailand, having first entered the Good Shepherd congregation in Angers, France the year World War 2 broke out.
She leaves behind a great legacy of inspirational projects that continue now through the work of her Good Shepherd colleagues and lay mission partners. As well as overseeing the craft production, they work directly with local people, visiting them in remote villages, bringing supplies of milk for babies and other basic necessities.
Last year, as well as purchasing crafts, Kilkenny people donated over 2,000 euro to support the work of Sr Mary and her community. In a letter to Sharing Fair supporters last January, Sr Mary, as well as thanking Kilkenny people, went on to describe how the money would be used.
‘Our Outreach ministry is one project area dear to my heart for it is truly Good Shepherd work. In this past year, we were able to increase the number of beds in our care facility and able to accept larger numbers of patients, some coming from the streets with nowhere to go. To see the transformation that takes place as a result of acceptance, loving care and medical treatment by dedicated staff and volunteers, is very moving.
Those with strokes learn to walk again; those with AIDS adjust to antiretroviral medicines and stabilise; and those with cancer are given access to treatment and thrive in a vibrant and caring atmosphere. Those who are terminally ill feel part of a ‘family’, are befriended, accompanied and do not die alone....Without support from outside, it would be impossible to respond to the needs of those we serve.’
To find out more about the different projects and ways in which you can help the work of Sr Mary’s community in Nong Khai, go to: www.goodshepherdnongkhai.com. Crafts can be purchased directly on-line by checking out The Regina Centre and Hands of Hope in Nong Khai and The Fatima Centre, Bangkok.
Kilkenny people are welcome to attend the event in Langtons on Saturday 18th next where a broad range of crafts will be on sale. Tea/coffee and scones will be provided and a bumper raffle with great prizes will also take place. For further information contact 086 3408142.